A new paid subscription service for Facebook and Instagram that will grant users a hallowed blue check for a monthly fee was announced on Sunday by Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Starting at $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 a month on iOS, Meta Verified – as Zuckerberg explained – will allow users to verify their accounts with a government ID, get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection, and get direct access to customer support.
Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook account that the new paid subscription service, which is about increasing authenticity and security across Meta services, will be introduced first in Australia and New Zealand this week ahead of a wider rollout.
Only users over the age of 18 will be allowed to subscribe and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that are already verified will go through no changes whereas the service is not yet available to businesses.
Providing direct access to customer support, per the Facebook founder, will cost a significant amount of money, which will be made up for with subscription revenue.
The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, rolled out a similar new option last year, soon after closing his $44 billion purchase deal with the company, justifying the move with the alleged massive drop in the platform’s revenue due to an exodus of advertisers from it.
The revamped version of Twitter’s own paid service, Twitter Blue, allows users for a monthly fee of $8 a month – $11 for iPhone users- to get that blue check mark, get a verified profile and other benefits.
On top of enabling Twitter users to combat scams and spam, Twitter Blue also allows subscribers to edit tweets for 30 minutes after posting and also to upload 1080p videos.
Over the past year and a half, Meta has faced its own problems with the company’s stock going down about 54% since its September 2021 high, forcing the social media giant to lay off about 11,000 workers.